Casino News

Lottery Commission Agrees on Casino License Amendment to Extend Construction Deadline

On Monday, 31st July, the Lottery Commission approved Imperial Pacific International’s (IPI) request to amend their casino license agreement, aiming to win more time for the completion of its Phase One and Phase Two of the project. In return, the company promised to secure a stable revenue for the Community Benefit Fund, even though the project is still ongoing.

After a meeting on Monday, the Lottery Commission agreed to extend the deadline for the completion of the Imperial Pacific International’s two-phase project. This is the fifth amendment to the company’s to the casino license agreement, as different factors slowed down the construction work.

Under the new amendment, the company needs to complete Phase One of the project latest 13th August 2023. Phase One of the project includes the opening of Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel in the center of the tourism industry on the island of Saipan, and more particularly Garapan. Phase Two’s deadline was also extended to 13th August 2028. It is a hotel project located in Marpi.

In return, Imperial Pacific International agreed to pay an annual fee worth $20 million. It is reported that the company will pay the fee in two equal portions bi-annually, each worth $10 million. The first transaction is said to be at the very beginning of the year 2018, while the second one will be on 1st June 2018. Thus, the company will contribute $20 million to the Community Benefit Fund for every year of the amended agreement.

In an official statement, Gov. Ralph Torres outspokenly supported the decision of the Lottery Commission. He explained that by giving extra time to the company, the gaming authority makes sure that all legal requirements will be met and the construction work will be done in a qualitative way. What is more is that for the time in which the construction is still ongoing, Imperial Pacific International will contribute $20 million annually to the Community Benefit Fund, in addition to the casino license fee worth $15 million.

In a short presentation, which took place on Tuesday, 1st August, the Commonwealth Casino Commission (the gaming regulatory body for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) outlined all the benefits from the signed casino license amendment. Chairman Juan Sablan welcomed the Lottery Commission’s decision, referring to it as a “win-win” solution of the problem.

The casino license amendment keeps the best interests of both parties intact. On the one hand, this will not lead to any financial losses for the government, but even the opposite and, on the other hand, Imperial Pacific International will have enough time for the completion of its two-phased project.